Morning Security Brief: NSA Hacked Data Centers, Adobe Customers Compromised, And More

By Lilly Chapa

►The National Security Agency (NSA) has infiltrated Yahoo and Google data centers worldwide without the companies’ knowledge to collect information from hundreds of millions of user accounts, according to documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Millions of records are sent every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to the NSA data warehouse, including metadata and content information. Both companies have expressed anger at the snooping and are calling for widespread reform. “We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fibre networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform,” said David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer.

►Adobe has announced that hackers took the credit card information and personal data of more than 38 million customer accounts in a cybersecurity attack, upping the number from 3 million, which they reported at the beginning of October. The hackers also stole part of the source code to Adobe’s Photoshop editing software. Adobe spokeswoman Heather Edell said the company is still investigating the cyberattacks and is in the process of notifying affected users. Hackers may have been able to decrypt user information and use it to break into other accounts, Edell warned.

►Internal government memos written days before the Obamacare Web site went live detailed’s “high security risk” due to lack of testing, according to CNN. According to the memo, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services created a dedicated security team to monitor the risk and conduct weekly scans. No known security breaches have occurred since the site’s launch, although an Arizona software tester was able to reset users’ passwords and told news agencies that the system was vulnerable to hacking.
►Federal cybersecurity experts were awarded during the 2013 Government Information Security Leadership Awards, which recognizes individuals and teams whose initiatives have improved the security landscape in the government. Among awardees were Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, director of cyberspace operations for the U.S. Air Force, who was honored for his role in leading a 45,000-person workforce to meet dynamic requirements in the cyberspace mission area. A complete list of the awardees can be found here.


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